After graduating from Coe in 1947 with a business degree, Donald Ebinger earned his MBA from Northwestern University, graduating magna cum laude.
Don began his career in Cedar Rapids with Bishop’s Buffet in 1948 as an accountant. He went on to spend his entire business career with Bishop’s and, in 1956, he was elected to the Board of Directors. In 1963, Don was named secretary-treasurer of the company. He was elected chairman of the board for Bishop’s in 1976, a position he held until his retirement in 1986. Under Don’s leadership, Bishop’s expanded to 35 cafeterias in the Midwest.
A loyal friend to Coe for many years, Don provided not only generous financial contributions, but invaluable leadership and vision. In 1980, Don was appointed to Coe’s Board of Trustees, on which he served actively until 1999. He was then named a life member of the board. In 1976, the Coe College Alumni Association presented Don with an Award of Merit in recognition of his contributions to his alma mater.
Don and his wife, Ruth Friedrich Ebinger ’46, established the Ebinger Family Scholarship Endowment in 1991 to help educate young people. For many years, Don served as a church council member and trustee at First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids. He was elected president of the St. Luke’s Health Care Foundation in 1983, and is a past president of United Community Services, as well as Churches United in Cedar Rapids.